Lab of Immune System Biology
Rachel Sparks, M.D.
Assistant Clinical Investigator
Specialty(s): Allergy and Immunology, Internal Medicine Provides direct clinical care to patients at NIH Clinical Center
- Systems immunology approaches to investigate human immune dysregulation and immunodeficiency
- Using multi-omics data to design targeted drug therapy trials
- Understanding vaccine response variation in different immunological backgrounds
Dr. Sparks leads a multidisciplinary team of basic scientists, bioinformaticians, and clinical staff with the goal of using systems biology approaches to study the human immune system in health and disease. Her research focuses on (1) evaluation of both known and unknown immunological disorders to better understand the molecular underpinnings of these diseases, uncover correlates of disease subtypes to help improve diagnosis and prognosis, and identify potential novel treatment targets with the goal of therapeutic trials, and (2) using vaccination and systems immunology to probe the immune system of both healthy individuals and those with immunological disorders.
M.D., The University of Washington
Dr. Sparks completed her M.D. and residency training in internal medicine at the University of Washington. She went on to do her clinical fellowship training in allergy & immunology at NIAID and conducted her fellowship research with Dr. John Tsang in the Laboratory of Immune System Biology (LISB) using systems biology to study human immune deficiency and dysregulation. In 2019, Dr. Sparks was appointed as an Assistant Clinical Investigator in the LISB through the NIAID Transition Program in Clinical Research.
Sample collection from healthy volunteers for assay optimization (Principal Investigator; NCT03538600)
Systems analyses of the immune response to the seasonal influenza vaccine (Principal Investigator; NCT04025580)
Sample collection for systems evaluation of patients with unknown or incompletely characterized immune defects (Principal Investigator; NCT04408950)
A Phase 1/2 Open-label Study to Evaluate the Safety and Efficacy of Tofacitinib for Chronic Granulomatous Disease with Inflammatory Complications (Lead Associate Investigator: NCT05104723)
- Sparks R, Lau WW, Liu C, Han KL, Vrindten KL, Sun G, Cox M, Andrews SF, Bansal N, Failla LE, Manischewitz J, Grubbs G, King LR, Koroleva G, Leimenstoll S, Snow L; OP11 Clinical Staff; Chen J, Tang J, Mukherjee A, Sellers BA, Apps R, McDermott AB, Martins AJ, Bloch EM, Golding H, Khurana S, Tsang JS. Influenza vaccination reveals sex dimorphic imprints of prior mild COVID-19. Nature. 2023 Feb;614(7949):752-761.
- Kotliarov Y, Sparks R, Martins AJ, Mulè MP, Lu Y, Goswami M, Kardava L, Banchereau R, Pascual V, Biancotto A, Chen J, Schwartzberg PL, Bansal N, Liu CC, Cheung F, Moir S, Tsang JS. Broad immune activation underlies shared set point signatures for vaccine responsiveness in healthy individuals and disease activity in patients with lupus. Nat Med. 2020 Apr;26(4):618-629.